Today’s post is in honor of Marine LCpl. Michael T. Badsing who was killed on this date in 1965 by enemy small-arms fire in South Vietnam. The 20-year-old Chicago native served with C Company, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, 3rd Marine Division.
1781: Hoping to divert Gen. George Washington from marching against Lord Cornwallis’ forces now trapped in Virginia, two battalions of British soldiers — including American Loyalist forces under the command of Brig. Gen. Benedict Arnold — assault New London, Conn.. The redcoats easily capture Fort Trumbull, but across the Thames River, the heavily outnumbered defenders of Fort Griswold fiercely resist.
The King’s men storm into the fort, massacring Americans attempting to surrender, and burn New London before withdrawing. Marquis de LaFayette is reported to have shouted “Remember Fort Griswold!” while assaulting the British redoubts at Yorktown.
1863: In the past 24 hours alone, Union Naval guns have killed 100 Confederates at Battery Wagner, one of the forts guarding Charleston (S.C.) harbor. The past 60 days of bombardment prove too much for Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard, who orders his forces to evacuate by boat. The Yankees now control Morris Island — one step closer to capturing Charleston.
1918: (Featured image) U.S. Navy railroad artillery crews conduct their first attack – a German rail center in Tergnier. The five massive 14″/50cal Mark 4 guns, normally mounted to a battleship, are transported by train and can hit targets well over 20 miles downrange.
1952: When their listening post near Satae-ri, Korea is targeted by enemy artillery and about to be overrun, the commanding officer orders his soldiers to withdraw from their post to safety. Machinegunner Cpl. Benito Martinez and Pfc. Paul G. Myatt remain behind to cover the retreat, despite numerous calls from the CO to abandon the post and turns down an offer of a rescue mission for the surrounded Americans. Martinez knew the only way his fellow soldiers would survive was if he continues to provide covering fire. The men hold off the enemy assault until the machinegun’s ammunition is expended. Martinez then withdraws to a destroyed bunker and continues to hammer the communists with his Browning Automatic Rifle and pistol.
After a “magnificent stand” lasting six hours, Martinez and Myatt’s actions allow their fellow soldiers to retake the position, but Martinez is killed and Myatt captured. Martinez is posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor and Pfc. Myatt is awarded the Silver Star after nearly a year in enemy prison camps.
1972: During the Olympic Games in Munich, Germany, Palestinian terrorists storm the apartment housing Israeli athletes, killing two and taking nine hostage. The terrorists demand the release of over 200 Israeli-held Palestinian prisoners, but the Israelis refuse to negotiate. Five terrorists – and all hostages – are killed when German police attempt to ambush the kidnappers at the airport as they attempted to fly to Cairo. The operation was financed by Mahmoud Abbas, who today serves as the chairman for the Palestinian Authority.
1976: Soviet Air Force pilot Lt. Viktor Belenko lands his brand-new MiG-25P Foxbat at Hakodate Airport in Japan and asks for political asylum in the United States. His request is granted and American officials begin analyzing what was believed to be perhaps the world’s most advanced fighter. However, they learn that intelligence vastly overestimated the capabilities of the Foxbat. The fighter is returned to the Soviet Union in pieces.